A man has alerted police after unpleasantly discovering a slithery, scaly surprise in his ute today.

Police said the man turned up at the Te Anau station at 2pm to report he'd found a snake in his ute.

Worse still, the reptile was alive.

"Police have ensured the animal is secured in the vehicle and Ministry for Primary Industries staff will be dealing with it," police said in a statement.


The ute had been imported from Australia around three months ago.

The Herald has approached MPI for comment.

Although rare, today's wasn't the first case of a snake making it through our borders.

In 2016, a biosecurity worker had started unloading the container at a MPI-approved quarantine facility at Gracefield, Wellington when he realised what he had thought was a pipe was actually a snake – thankfully a dead one.

And last year, a snake was snared at Auckland Airport after it hitched a ride on a private jet.